It’s National Storytellers Week, and here at Hand Made Places we want to join in and celebrate everything which is great about storytelling. National Storytellers Week runs from the 29th of January and finishes on the 4th of February. The week was set up by the Society for Storytelling and aims to promote the ancient art of ‘word of mouth’ storytelling.
What is National Storytellers Week?
The Society for Storytelling was set up 24 years ago and their main aim was to promote and preserve folk stories which are told through the generations via word of mouth. The oral tradition of storytelling is the oldest way of communicating creativity and they feel as though this ancient art is worth preserving. National Storytellers Week was set up in 2000 to promote the societies beliefs and this year they celebrate their 18th birthday! The popularity of Storytellers week has been astounding and over these past years, it has been taken on by clubs, theatres, museums, schools, hospitals, care homes and many more! And each year it grows even bigger and better.
The joy of National Storytellers Week is that it can be celebrated by everyone, no matter their age, gender or background! Storytelling is a one size fits all activity, and as long as you have the ability to communicate your ideas, you can create and engage in a wonderful storytelling experience.
How can I get involved?
Anyone can get involved in National Storytellers Week, but here at Hand Made Places we have a range of products which can help you to get involved at schools, nursery’s, children’s centres and many more. The Storytellers Chair, and Story Circle can be used to encourage the art of oral storytelling. However, children will need to have the temptation of books removed from the area, as part of National Storytellers Day is to encourage people to think creatively and on the spot. Meaning that you cannot read directly from a book.
A great way to encourage this type of creativity, especially with help from a story circle, is to always ensure that you start with the teacher, or student that is in the Storytellers chair saying ‘Once Upon a Time’ and again have them end with ‘they lived happily ever after.’ This will ensure that the stories have a definitive structure. This will then teach them the art of creative writing thus helping to improve their literacy skills.
A great example of an activity which you can do is to create a story in a circle! At the beginning the teacher comes up with an opening. For example “Once upon a time there was a dragon called Arnold and he lived..” then the pupil to their left adds to the story, for example “in a forest close to our school…” this will then carry on until they get back to the teacher who can then wrap up the tale. This is a great and fun way to get everyone involved. Meaning that everyone can enjoy National Storytelling Week.
So why not try out oral storytelling for the week and see just what fun and interesting stories you and your class can come up with! Have fun!